Gambling industry practices revealed as ‘morally bankrupt’ - Operators stop those who win and offer inducements to those who lose money.
5 Apr 2023
The morally bankrupt practices of online gambling operators have been exposed at a parliamentary hearing that highlights the critical need for national leadership and regulation to curb the significant harm gambling causes in the Australian community.
Evidence that gambling operators intervene to stop people gambling when they are winning and provide inducements for those who lose to continue to gamble, proves the lie to industry claims that they are highly regulated and can self-regulate to reduce gambling harm.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform chief executive, Carol Bennett, said evidence from the Australian Banking Association highlighted that 500,000 Australians had self-excluded themselves from gambling via their banking provider was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the extent of gambling harm in Australia.
“When the CEO of Sportsbet admits that they stop people who are winning from betting so as ‘not to distort the market’, it highlights how the industry is a law unto itself and its sole concern is profit, not harm minimisation,” Ms Bennett said.
“When the CEO of Tabcorp calls for a ban on sports gambling advertising and supports the establishment of a national gambling regulator, you know the gambling industry has become a free for all profit extraction industry that long established companies like Tabcorp are struggling to cope with.”
Ms Bennett said industry claims that stronger regulation would push people to gamble on the ‘black market’ were simply incorrect and at odds with the evidence. This was confirmed by the evidence given to the inquiry by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
“Australians lose more than $25 billion to gambling every year. It is an industry that is ruthless in its pursuit of profit and it is clear that our weak and inadequate regulatory system in Australia is failing to protect people from gambling harm,” Ms Bennett said.
“The evidence today clearly shows the need for a national approach to gambling in Australia and in particular an adequately funded, national gambling regulator that has the teeth to hold the sector accountable.”
The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling addiction, have the problem treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our communities. We bring together well over 60 organisations who share the objectives of preventing harm from gambling.
Carol Bennett is available for interview
Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704